Fears have been raised that the future of Britain’s entire personal services industry could be at risk following the publication an autobiography purporting to reveal the truth behind the apparently glamourous world of prostitution. “I’m deeply concerned that thousands of impressionable young girls will be put off of lucrative careers as call girls if they read this highly sensationalised account,” says Sir Henry Tussocks MP, Chairperson of the House of Commons Select Committee on Sex and Deviance, referring to the recently published Secret Diary of a Street Walker. “Consequently, they could find themselves condemned to lifetimes working in the drudgery of factories or offices, saddled with mortgages and families, and with nothing to look forward to but a pension.” The book’s pseudonymous author – ‘Second Hand Sue’ – describes how she fell into prostitution as a means to support her family whilst still a teenager. A single mother at fifteen and sexually abused by her step father, she found herself forced onto the streets, living in hostels and seedy Bed and Breakfast accommodation. “Selling myself was the only way to make enough money to feed my baby and stop her from being taken into care,” Second Hand Sue claims in her book. “I started off just giving hand jobs to kerb-crawlers outside King’s Cross station for a tenner a time. But I only could only do the ones who had a baby-seat in their cars – I had to take the kiddie with me, there was no way I could afford child care on that kind of money.” However, the teenage street walker soon found herself being chased off of her pitch by more established prostitutes. “I took a real beating a couple of times when they caught me – the pushchair made it bloody difficult to run fast enough to get away from them,” she recalls. “I realised that there was no way I could do this as an amateur – I had to go professional.” Believing it would get her off of the streets, Second Hand Sue agreed to go to work for pimp, believing his promises of accommodation, high class clients and big earnings. “He promised me a penthouse – what I got was some grotty, mould infested council flat in Peckham,” she recalls. “The clients were all weirdoes who wanted me to dress as a schoolgirl and spank them.” Tussocks has dismissed this account as pure fiction, claiming that, far from being impoverished under-age mothers, the majority of prostitutes are actually recruited via professional employment agencies. “It is well-known that they go around all the best finishing schools to recruit at the end of every school year, that and discreet ads in certain glossy magazines – Country Life, Horse and Hound, that sort of thing,” he says. “Obviously, they only want to attract the best type of girl into the profession – there’s no way that any discerning middle-class customer is going to pay to go with some manky scrubber from a council estate.”

The MP has also questioned Second Hand Sue’s account of the kind of accommodation her pimp arranged for her. “Now look, I’m not ashamed to admit that, when I was much younger, I availed myself of the services of such ladies a few times,” he elaborates, “and I can assure everyone that at no time did I ever have to settle for a knee-trembler in the kitchen of some flea-infested flat. No indeed, I was always entertained by very sophisticated young ladies living in very well appointed Mayfair apartments. The furthest downmarket I ever went was a threesome in a semi-detached house in Bromley.” According to Second Hand Sue’s book, it wasn’t just sub-standard accommodation that her pimp inflicted on her, claiming that when she tried to leave the life, she found herself mercilessly beaten by him. “He said he’d kill me and my daughter if I tried to leave,” she recalls. “To make absolutely sure I wouldn’t leave, he got me hooked on drugs – I had to work twice as hard to pay for my habit.” Desperate, she found herself forced to ‘entertain’ ever lower quality clients, many of them violent. “I had to take the ones no other working girl would deal with, just to make ends meet,” she explains. “Some were just weirdly kinky – wanting to piss or crap on you – but others were really violent, wanting to shove things like bottles and broom handles up me. There was one who could only get it up when he heard me screaming as he burned my nipples with a lighted cigarette.” Not surprisingly, Tussock has also taken issue with the book’s depiction of pimps and their activities. “Now, in my experience most of these pimps are jolly West Indian fellows – all brilliant smiles and wide-brimmed hats. Believe me, they couldn’t be nicer chaps, looking out for the girls, arranging discreet assignations for the punters – they undoubtedly earn their fees,” he opines. “None of the ones I’ve ever dealt with bear the slightest resemblance to this Serbian thug she describes.” Tussock has also expressed doubts over Second Hand Sue’s claims of suffering violence at the hands of punters. “I find that sort of thing rather hard to swallow,” he says. “Oh, I know that some chaps enjoy spanking a pert bottom or two, but it’s all in fun! The truth is that it usually the punters wanting to get tied up and thrashed by the girls – I know of a little establishment in Chelsea which caters for that sort of thing. It’s all perfectly harmless.”

Second Hand Sue finally escaped from her life of sexual slavery after her pimp was stabbed to death by a rival in a turf dispute. “I just grabbed the opportunity and ran,” she says in her book. “I changed my name and moved to the other end of the country. I’m clean and sober now and work ten hours a day stacking shelves. It’s sheer drudgery and poorly paid, but it beats having my arse shagged off by bastards all day and night.” Once again, Tussock takes issue with the picture painted by Sue’s book. “Most of the girls I know are able to retire before they’re thirty-five with a tidy sum in the bank,” he asserts. “They all marry wealthy bankers and financiers and end up living in the south of France.” By contrast, Second Hand Sue claims that all she has to show for nearly a decade of prostitution are several missing teeth and a number of scars from the beatings she endured. “OK, so she could of spent ten years working as a check out girl getting a regular wage, but does she honestly think that would have taught any of the valuable life experiences she gained from prostitution?” asks Tussocks. “I really do fear that many girls could end up missing out on the excitement of a life in prostitution if they read this book.” Indeed, he fears that Britain’s brothels could end up being flooded with cheap, low-class foreign whores if indigenous recruitment dries up. “Any young girl contemplating a career as a call girl should bear in mind that the events described in this book are atypical,” he says. “What Second Hand sue is describing is working class prostitution catering for lower-class brutes, which is just a minor part of the industry. In reality, most punters are well-off professionals seeking tasteful liaisons with nice middle-class girls.”